From June 21 – July 14, Keia Johnson will be appearing onstage at Playhouse on the Square as part of the cast of The Color Purple! The story follows Celie, a young black woman growing up in rural Georgia in the 1930s. Keia, who has joined the rest of the cast for more than six weeks of six-day-a-week rehearsals, is looking forward to showcasing her talents as both a singer and dancer on stage.
Adapted from the novel by Alice Walker, The Color Purple is renowned for its strong themes of perseverance in the face of abuse and violence. Keia first saw the play when it came to The Orpheum several years ago. “I never knew I’d have the opportunity to audition for a version of it right here in Memphis!” Keia says. “I was over the moon excited with the thought of being on stage for this musical and now that we’re so close to opening night, I have all the jitters and excitement that I need to push me to really give my all in this performance.”
Keia has some experience in musical theater from her time in show choir in high school and as an entertainer on the American Queen last year. “I’ve got the bug now and will be looking for more roles and auditions in the future,” she says.
Although excited to see friends and family in the audience, what’s most inspiring to Keia is the opportunity for people who have supported her throughout the years to see her in a different role. “I’m anxious to see how that’s received,” she says.
The Color Purple will be opening this Friday and tickets will be only $22 for the duration of opening weekend. The play runs Thursday – Sunday, with performances beginning at 8 p.m. Thursday – Saturday and at 2 p.m. on Sundays. Tickets are $40 Fridays and Saturdays, $35 Thursdays and Sundays, $20 for seniors/military/students and $15 for children.